Utilizing sustainable design procedures and practices results in buildings that go beyond the usual tradition of meeting minimum requirements to lessen budgetary impact. An engineering focus on maximum performance includes full implementation of processes that improve the performance standards and reduce the life cycle cost of buildings’ operating systems. In part, this is achieved by coordinating the function of multiple systems to realize the greatest benefit to a building’s users. Another key to creating green buildings is implementing involvement of the entire design team from inception through to completion, in order to produce truly integrated designs.

Long a proponent of sustainable design, van Zelm fully supports the ever-growing commitment environmental stewardship.  Beyond the superficial approach to energy-conscious system applications, we incorporate a design process of integration, communication, support, and trust into our work product.  Staff members frequently are asked to speak to industry groups on the subject of sustainable design methodologies and outcomes.  Our LEED accredited professionals maintain an active program of research and development in innovative sustainable technologies for the benefit of our staff, our projects, and our clients.  We understand that we are residents on a planet with a fixed quantity of natural resources.  We advocate for the development of sustainable energy sources and integrated supply/demand systems to support our modern lifestyle.

Sustainable Design & Energy Services Include

  • LEED
  • Passive House
  • Living Building Challenge
  • Strategic Workplace / Advanced Workplace Strategy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Net Zero
  • Resilience
  • Historic & Adaptive Reuse


  • Charter Member – Connecticut Green Building Council
  • MEMBER – US EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership
  • LEED-Certified, Living Building Challenge, and Passive House Professionals on Staff